Barclays Closes Fund

Barclays Private Equity European Fund III received total commitments of EUR2.4bn from existing investors in its previous fund, which raised EUR1.65bn in 2005. Investors came from Europe, the Gulf, Asia and the US, said the firm.

Concerns in the credit market have affected large buyout deals, but BPE's latest fundraising suggests that investors continue to have faith in the mid-market, which also uses significant (in relative terms) amounts of debt for deals.

“We had the opportunity to significantly exceed this level, but we believe that this is the optimum size for our strategy of pan-European mid-market investing,” said Tom Lamb, co-head of Barclays Private Equity.

Barclays Capital, the debt provision arm of the UK bank, made a EUR650m commitment to the fund, which will predominantly focus on the UK, France, Germany Italy and Switzerland. Sector focus in the UK comprises financial services, healthcare, support services and consumer and travel, while a more generalist approach is taken in Continental Europe.

Lamb said the fund will concentrate on mid-market buys of up to EUR500m, with a core focus on transactions between